Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day: from the Silly to the Sublime

Today is one of those holidays like Mardi Gras, where I wonder what revelers would say if they really knew about the spiritual origins of what they celebrate.

But I know that many people don't really care.  Any excuse for a chance to drink green beer, eh?

But this is my creativity blog, not a party blog.  Just writing the words "party blog" makes me a bit queasy.  What if future employers-to-be read this blog and assume that there is a party blog of mine somewhere?  I assure all future searchers that my life is not nearly that interesting.  Well, not my outer life.  My inner life is much more intriguing than words can capture.  Some weeks it is.

Let's think about ways that creative people, by which I mean all of us, can celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I'll list them from the slightly silly to the more sublime:

--Put all your green clothes together, even though they are different shades of green.  Think about how you would describe each color if you had to come up with a clever name for each.  Accessorize in a way that's different from your non-St. Patrick's Day approach.

--While you're thinking about color, think about that issue of green beer.  Think about what you normally eat and drink.  How would changing the color of the food and drink change your feelings about the sensation of eating and drinking? 

--Once my spouse made crème de menthe chicken with green liqueur, which changed the chicken green.   It smelled great, but I could not eat green chicken.  My stomach turned.  Interesting how our revulsions are so deeply engrained.  Think about your own revulsions.  Are they truly self-protective?  Or should you try something again?

--If you're going to make Irish food, go beyond the corned beef and soda bread that are the staples of this holiday.  Do I have suggestions?  No, I don't--in fact, my experiments with Irish cooking have not been my most successful, although the first one did lead to one of my all-time favorite posts about Saint Patrick's Day.  Luckily, you have the whole Internet at your disposal.

--Saint Patrick was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he spent his teenage years as a slave before he escaped.  The knowledge he acquired during his time of bondage proved very useful when he returned to solidify Christianity on the island.  Where do you see similarities to your own creative life?  What parts of your life do you see as oppressive?  Try thinking about those oppressive parts as giving you the resources you will need in the future as you create something that has never existed before.

--Part of Saint Patrick's strength came from his community.  Think about your own creative community.  What one action can you do today to strengthen your community?  Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day by taking that action.

--In many Christian circles, Saint Patrick is remembered for combining Christian elements with pagan aspects to combine a healthy strain of Christianity.  It's worth thinking about our own work.  Where have we been traditional?  How can we combine that work, that impulse, with something new?  What haven't we tried because it seems too edgy?  Why not try it today? 

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